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How to Rebuild Freeze Proof Faucet - Repairing the Leaky Faucet

Updated on September 21, 2014
Completed Rebuild
Completed Rebuild

Tools You Will Need

In this tutorial you will only need a few, common, household tools to complete the project.

  • A regular flat head screwdriver.
  • A 90 degree pick or similar
  • Two sets of slip joint pliers

Lets Get Started

So you are sick of that leaky outside faucet, that constantly gets you wet, or makes a mess, every time you want to use it. Follow along for a step by step guide on how to repair that freeze proof faucet.

Freeze proof outside faucet rebuild kit.
Freeze proof outside faucet rebuild kit.

The Parts You Need

After gathering the tools needed you will want to pick up a package that contains all of the needed parts to rebuild the freeze proof faucet. To the right, you will see a picture of the kit you will need. RK-17MH is the part number you will be looking for. This kit can be found at most home improvement retailers from $20-$30.

Rebuild Parts
Rebuild Parts

Checking Parts

To the right you will see the kits components laid out for inspection. This is an important step. You do not want to rip your faucet apart only to find out that you do not have all of the components to properly rebuild your faucet. Here I have them separated out so that I can compare the parts to the list outlined on the package. If all of your parts are accounted for then your parts should look like the picture.

City Water Location
City Water Location

Step One

Now that we have gathered the right tools, and made sure that we have all of the right parts, it is time to begin the process of rebuilding our freeze proof faucet.

The most important step in this process is making sure you turn off all water going to your outside faucet. The simplest way to do this is to simply turn off the water going to the house. Many people have city water, therefor you must first locate the box in your yard containing the shut off valve and meter. This box is typically located near the road, in a the corner of your yard, or near the corner of your house if you live far from the road. This box typically looks like the attached picture with the word water on it. Grab a flat head screwdriver and pry the lid up.

Inside you will find the water meter and shutoff valve. In the picture you will see this valve circled in red. You will see that the valve is currently in the flow position. You can tell this by noting the valve is running parallel with the pipe. Turn the valve so that it is perpendicular with the pipe. Once the valve is tuned perpendicular you need to turn on your outside faucet to drain all remaining water from the pipe.

Step Two

Getting the Vacuum breaker out is the next step. To do this you must take a flat head screwdriver and pop off the brown plastic cap on top of the faucet. Don't be to worried about breaking the cap, because there is a new one to replace it with. Once you have the brown plastic cap off you will see a clear plastic plug that screws in to the faucet. This must be removed in order to replace the vacuum plunger just underneath. Once the plug is unscrewed, simply grab the plunger and remove it.

Plastic Plug
Plastic Plug

Quick Tip

You will want to keep the handle you just removed close by. This will make taking the rod out of the faucet housing much easier.

Step Three

In the next step you will want to remove the handle on the front of the faucet. This simple task can be completed with a flat head screwdriver. Place the flat end of the screwdriver through the handle. Place it in the flat recess of the screw. You will want to turn counter clockwise until the screw is removed.

Faucet with handle, and vacuum breaker removed.
Faucet with handle, and vacuum breaker removed.

Step Four

Behind the handle you will now find a six sided plug. This plug is what holds the rod and components inside of the faucet housing. You will now need both sets of slip joint pliers, one to hold the faucet in place, and the second to removed the plug. I used one set to hold the faucet in place in fear of possibly breaking the pipe under the house, due to the pressure of twisting on the plug while removing it. This plug has to be removed in order to gain access to the rod and other seals.

Holding the Faucet in place while removing plug.
Holding the Faucet in place while removing plug.

Step 5

If your faucet has not been rebuilt you will find a cloth like filler behind the plug. Using your screwdriver or 90 Degree pick you need to pull that filler out of the end of the faucet. Once the filler has been removed you will find a brass washer. Take the 90 degree pick and insert it through the top of the faucet housing with the pick portion facing the outside of the faucet. Simply push the washer through the end of the faucet until it is out.

Step 6

Here is where you will need to grab that handle that you took off earlier. you will need to slide the handle back on to the rod. Once the handle is back on to the rod you will then need to turn counter clockwise until the rod is loose. Now remove the handle and pull the rod out carefully.

Faucet Housing with rod removed.
Faucet Housing with rod removed.

Step 7

With the rod removed you will now want to lay it out on a clean, flat, work surface. You will see that in one end of the rod will be a screw with a seal behind it. This screw will need to be removed. You will replace using the supplied short screw and seal from the rebuild kit. Looking at the rod you will see another rubber seal. Grab the seal with a pair of pliers and pull it off. Replace this part with supplied seal from the rebuild kit.

Removed Rod
Removed Rod


How Handy Are You?

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Step 8

The final step in this process is to now put the faucet back together in the reverse order. You will need to re-install the rod in to the faucet housing. You will install the new supplied brass washer over the rod in to the faucet housing. In place of the cloth like filler you removed in a previous step, you will replace it with the black doughnut shaped rubber plug. You are then ready to re install the supplied brass six sided plug back in to the housing. You can then install the new handle with the supplied longer screw. Now that the bottom side of the faucet is completed we can move to the top. You will find a new vacuum breaker in the rebuild kit. You must place the plunger so that the male end is facing up. The clear plastic plug has a hole in the very center. The male side of the plunger must go through the hold in the plastic plug. Once this is accomplished you can tighten the plug down. Before replacing the new brown top you should test the faucet to make sure it is working properly. If you find no issues you can replace the brown plastic top with the new one. You can now enjoy your leak free outside freeze proof faucet. If when testing the faucet you find that something is not working properly or leaking, do not freak out. I have supplied an exploded view of the faucet and parts. Refer to the picture below to find out where you went wrong.


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